A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2006, vol 2 no 4

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C.W. Hawes

A Sunday Afternoon Walk

Relaxing on the deck, smoking my pipe, the reverie of quiet which normally surrounds my rural home has been disturbed all afternoon by the dull roar of a tractor. Deciding to see what my neighbor is up to, I get to my feet and start down the gravel road toward his property. For a companion, I have my pipe; as my old dog is too busy dreaming of younger days.

I walk westward into the brisk wind. All day the scudding grey clouds have threatened to drop rain, but the brief reprieve from the wet spring continues. The wind blows my jacket out behind me. I leave it open, however, as the exertion generates some heat. Before too long I find my neighbor and the reason for the incessant roar: he is cultivating his corn.

The mystery solved, I wave, and turn around for the walk home. On the way back, I pay more attention to the vegetation growing in the no-man's land between the road and the ditch. None of the plants are very tall as the county mowed a couple weeks earlier. Perhaps that is why I had missed the buds of the tiny wild roses growing in the gravel on the edge of the road.

an old path...
in the shrinking puddle